We have just returned from a superb holiday in sunny Sardinia. I didn’t think that there were any places left like this in Europe, but it really is still an undiscovered jewel.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, it’s located 120 km south of the Italian peninsula and only 185 km off the coast of North Africa. Golden sandy beaches and rocky coves form a stunning perimeter around a hard, hot, mountainous interior. It is wonderfully quiet and unspoilt with large areas that seem completely untouched by our modern times.
Typical Sardinian cuisine comes straight from the land and the sea, the only way is the organic way – everything is authentic. Marinaded roast meats, cured hams and salamis, the freshest fish, handmade cheeses, artisan bread and an abundance of local fruit and vegetables.
For the first few days we stayed in a charming airbnb in Barisardo owned by a delightful local couple, Basilia and Luciano who greeted us with a homemade lasagne. Their little holiday cottage is tucked away in a rural location less than 5km from a beautiful beach, and it nestles in an allotment of fruit and vegetables which are tended by Luciano. These friendly, generous people invite you to pick your own produce during your stay which really added to the charm and experience of the holiday.
We then headed down to the south of the island to meet up with the rest of our family at a gorgeous beach side villa near Pula. The sun was hot, the sky bright blue and the sea was like a bath. For a week we cooked, ate, swam and talked and also played a few rowdy card games.
We had fresh local mussels with the most incredible flavour, beautiful little red mullet grilled on the barbecue and spectular slow roasted lamb rubbed with local spices. We gorged ourselves on the most fragrant figs and juicy peaches.
Sardinian cuisine embraces local spices and herbs, they love their hot peperoncinos and aromatic ground mirto berries. These spicy mirto or myrtle berries grow wild around the island and are also famously used to make the Sardinian liqueur Mirto. I brought some home with me and shall soon be making my own homemade Mirto, so we will be able to enjoy a little reminder of our lovely holiday in Sardinia.